Posted in All Book Reviews

Review: Drained (By E.H.Reinhard)

 

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Source: Goodreads

Length: 157 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Hank Rawlings has just made Agent in the homicide division of the FBI’s serial crimes unit. But the ex-Tampa Homicide Detective barely has time to settle into his new role before he’s sent to Chicago on a case. A serial killer who has managed to evade the law for years has resurfaced. His victims are turning up in dumpsters, drained completely of all their blood. And the body count is rising steadily. Rawlings and his new partner, Agent Beth Harper, have to dig deep and dig fast if they have any hope of catching the killer before he disappears again. But can they track down a killer who always manages to stay one step ahead? Or will the case cost much more than either of them is willing to pay?

My take:

Drained is your pretty regular, fast-paced, crime fiction. It doesn’t take a whodunit approach, but more of a will-they-catch-him approach. This brings in its own interesting elements as you see the protagonist and antagonist trying to out-do one another.

You get great insight into Hank Rawlings who played a supporting character in Malevolent and he comes into his own, evolving into a likable and strong personality. There’s also some light being shed on the relationship he shares with his wife – a relationship that was only touched upon in the first of the Lieutenant Kane series. There are other well-rounded characters that bring a wholesome feel to the story.

What I liked about Reinhard’s work, and it stays true in Drained too, is that he offers a certain amount of completion as far as motive, methods, and background of the antagonist are concerned. So you’re not left high and dry, wondering why someone would do what they do, and feeling like you didn’t get any closure.

The story moves along pleasantly enough, isn’t gore-filled, and keeps you turning the pages fast. The only thing it has against it is the play-by-play that is Reinhard’s preferred style. Personally, I’m not a big fan of having every action spelled out for me, so that can get a bit tedious to read (I’ve explained more about this in my review of Malevolent which you can read here).

All in all, Drained isn’t a great piece of literary excellence and, to be honest, I don’t think it’s meant to be that either. It’s meant to be a fast reading crime fiction with a considerable amount of suspense and twists, and a decent group of characters. On all those fronts, the book delivers. And it definitely keeps you interested enough to want to follow the series and Hank Rawlings’ FBI career.

Recommended to anyone:

  • who wants to indulge in some quick crime fiction
  • is a die hard crime fiction fan
  • as a travel read (it’s just 157 pages long)

– Rishika

Posted in All Book Reviews

Review: Malevolent (By E.H.Reinhard)

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Source: Goodreads

Length: 185 pages

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Lieutenant Carl Kane of the Tampa Police Department is used to working on gruesome cases and terrible homicides. But the woman found dead, dressed in green lingerie, is more than just another case. Before long, another woman is discovered. And autopsy reports confirm Kane’s fears – they’re dealing with a serial killer who is more twisted than they can imagine, and who has big plans of his own.

And being labeled by Kane as nothing more than just another killer who they will apprehend is not a part of those plans.

Kane discovers that he’s up against one of the most ruthless, cunning, and fame-hungry murderers he’s ever known – a murdered who’s targeting everyone close to him. Forced to be a part of the agenda of the man the media have named ‘The Psycho Surgeon’, it’s now up to Kane to find the man responsible for the misery of so many people.

But can Kane stop The Psycho Surgeon before he causes more pain and death? Or will the case cost him everything that he holds dear?As far as crime fiction goes,

My take:

There are so many things that Malevolent has going for it. First, the story – it’s a very interesting story that goes deep into the darkness of true evil. You have characters who, when you pause to think about, are absolutely terrifying. They’re chaotic, angry, evil, and so very easy to associate with (making them scarier). It even gives you an insight into the antagonist’s head, taking you step by step through what makes him tick. And it gives new meaning to the understanding that according to a villain, he’s the hero of his story.

Protagonist Carl Kane is a decent mix of brooding, effective, empathetic, troubled, and humoristic – ideal for the role of homicide cop who’s seen a lot and has reached that odd point where personal and professional emotions cannot help but overlap. He is also, at times, quite an ass (for instance, to his partner who doesn’t seem affected in the least). But I really think that impression is more a result of Reinhard not depicting their relationship as strongly as it seems to be forged, and less of Kane actually being an obnoxious twerp.

The one thing that really strikes you about the book (in both, a bad and good way) is that everything – literally everything – is described action by action. Think, “I walked to the coffee machine. I pressed the button. I heard it whir. I put a paper cup under the spout. I waited.”

Okay, so maybe it’s not that blunt, but that description isn’t too far off either. While many of these overly-descriptive points do have an effect somewhere, others often don’t. So a lot of it, in my opinion, could’ve been left out. But where the book really let me down (effectively bringing its rating to a 3.5 instead of a 4) was the ending.

It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. But it doesn’t end well. A lot of things get explained, but a whole lot more remain open – things that are touched upon earlier in the book. And you’re left wondering, “But what about this? And did they find out anything about that? Are they just not telling me? Why?!”

And that is why the book ends without seeming to be properly rounded-off. Still, it does manage to make you turn the pages relentlessly, make you cringe at the extent of evil that can exist, and even make you feel really bad for some of the people involved. The characters are quite well done and the story is a good one, making Malevolent – overall – a very interesting read. I’d definitely read more of Reinhard’s work and would recommend it to everyone who’s interested in a short, quick read, doesn’t mind a bit of gore, loves crime fiction and crime thrillers, and/or is interested in criminal psychology.

Read Reinhard’s work and want to share your thoughts? Drop a word in the comments below… we’d love to hear your take!

– Rishika